3 reasons to weigh ewes and lambs for optimal flock performance

Rachel Rose

| Sheep & Goats

| Jun 10, 2024

sMeasuring and recording the weight of lambs is crucial for tracking your flocks performance. Below are three key reasons why you should be weighing your ewes and lambs frequently:

1.Accurate treatments – Weighing enables you to administer targeted treatments effectively. For instance knowing the weight of a ewe/lamb helps determine the appropriate dosage of treatment like wormer or medication. This prevents under/over dosing animals saving money and reducing the risk of medicine resistance.

2.Nutrition – Weighing ewes/lambs is essential for effective nutritional management. Lambs need a  balance of nutrients for good growth and development. Whereas ewes need enough nutrients to sustain body condition while producing milk. By monitoring their weights, feed rations can be adjusted to meet their evolving needs. Modifying the ration based on weight gain helps prevent undernourishment or overfeeding, both of which can have lasting impacts on the flock’s health and productivity.

3.Performance / breeding evaluation – Weighing provides valuable data to evaluate flock performance. Tracking growth rates allows farmers to assess the performance of individual lambs as well as the overall flock. This can help identify superior genetics (noting differences between mobs of lambs by different terminal sires), the effectiveness of flock management and making informed breeding decisions. Weighing ewes at weaning also underpins her performance. At weaning lambs should ideally weigh half of what the ewe does.

Automated Insights by Herdwatch

Herdwatch’s Weight Insight feature provides an easy solution for farmers to track key metrics and ensure their flock thrives.

With Herdwatch, monitoring animal weights and Average Daily Gain (ADG) is a breeze. Farmers can effortlessly track weights recorded as part of weight tasks, organised by date, eliminating manual record-keeping hassles.

Weight Insights can be filtered based on specific groups of animals, such as breed or age, tailoring insights to their farm’s unique needs.

Herdwatch provides detailed data on maximum, minimum, and average weights, along with ADG, for each batch of animals.

Highlighting the bottom 25% of animals based on live weight, Herdwatch helps identify potential health issues early on. Prompt intervention can then be taken to safeguard the well-being of livestock.

Click here, for more information on Weigh Head / EID integration.

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